You think you know someone, and then they come along and do something completely unexpected. They do something that doesn’t happen very often—something that you definitively like, but didn’t quite think they would do.
With her sophomore novel, Monica Anderson has done the unexpected. She has taken her writing to a new level. If you were as impressed as I was with her debut novel, When A Sistah’s Fed Up, then you will be ecstatic over her new one — I Stand Accused.
East Texas and its customs, lifestyles and people come alive in this tale of mystery, comedy, drama and life. This novel when made into a miniseries will have something for everyone (remember I was the first one to say miniseries). Each of the characters from the main to the secondary characters is drawn in great detail.
As the characters age, we are able to see their believable transformation into adulthood. We feel their pain and enjoy their pleasures. The heat from the kitchen is written so well that you will begin to perspire as you continue reading. As the pots continue to boil, you will be able to get a whiff of what’s cooking inside them. Even if you are unfamiliar with the Piney Woods of East Texas, Monica’s writing will let your imagination run wild and you will be transported to that area. From the screen porch to the dirt roads, East Texas will come alive.
Being raised in East Texas, I am very familiar with the customs of the area. East Texas children were always taught to be seen and not heard. There was alwayssomething that adults whispered about that children didn’t fully know the depths of until they reach adulthood.
Monica skillfully takes the main character back and forth from the past to the present. She never lets the reader become confused, keeping the pace even. The language, the sounds, the people are all East Texas, but the story is sophisticated and international. As I stated before, it was a pleasant surprise. I could give it stars, but I’ll give it the East Texas stamp of approval; “Monica, girl you “fixin” to have another best seller.”
Reviewed by Maricia D. C. Johns, a columnist for The Fort Worth Black News.